Mumbai based designer Payal Singhal’s studied fashion design at SNDT University launched her eponymous label in 1999.
Her label’s 15-year creative progression has overlapped with Singhal’s self-discovery. Today, she has an online store catering to the international market and a celebrity clientele that keeps her in the news constantly.
As wedding season is approaching we decided to get in touch with Payal Singhal and get her to spill her take on wedding dressing this season.
1. Describe the “Payal Singhal” bride?
The Payal Singhal label is for modern brides who want something unique for her wedding. She is the one who wants to be comfortable and effortless on her big day.
“The cliché overtly put-together vibe has been replaced by swag in her case.”
Don’t be surprised if she pairs her lehenga with the coolest aviators! This new-age Payal Singhal bride is a connoisseur of unique, and not necessarily heavy, looks.
2. What is new in your collection which is being presented at the Vogue Wedding Show?
We noticed that shoppers not just comprise of the bride, but also of her family members and friends. So we have worked on a very inclusive collection this season. We have pieces for the bride and her trousseau as well as for her sister, mother, and bridesmaids.
The new-age bride is not necessarily keen on heavy clothes. She is looking for something unique instead.
“The Payal Singhal Bride collection is unconventional and fun pieces of contemporary Indian bridal wear.”
3. What are the key trends for bridal wear this season?
This year belongs to the vintage bride, who borrows from yesteryear elegance and drama to marry romanticism with raw sensuality in equal measure. She is a bride who would rather keep them guessing and leave some (more) to the imagination.
1. Mul Anarkali
2. Full-sleeved cholis with a plunging neckline
3. High waist lehengas
4. Fitted tube lehenga skirts will be highlighted this year.
5. Ivory tones and muted pastels will take centre stage too.
4. What is in store for the grooms?
“Grooms should ditch traditional sherwanis in favour of prints and brocades, Jodhpuri sets and easier pieces.”
5. Trends and styles brides should avoid wearing?
The trend is moving towards more individualistic and curated looks—women don’t want their repertoires to scream ‘head-to-toe store bought’ anymore. Hence, mixing and matching of easy separates is fast gaining momentum.
The trend of the heavy, matching bridal sets is also a thing of the past. Focusing on just one statement piece is the way to go today.
Overdoing it is a big faux pas. Another mistake is not thinking of your look in a coherent manner.
“‘Many brides tend to buy their clothes and jewellery in isolation, without thinking of how they will team up together for a cohesive look. All the elements of your outfit should complement each other.”
Often times, brides don’t think of their wedding repertoire, as a whole. They should try and include a mix of silhouettes, colours and styles across their functions. This variety will also serve them well when they want to carry your trousseau forward.
6. What is your favourite or signature piece from your collection?
A pale grey set comprising of a tulle skirt with mukaish work paired with an embroidered blazer worn over bustier is my favourite. It’s sexy but not in a stereotypical way.
The 2017 bride is all about sass, and this outfit is just the kind of tongue-in-cheek outfit that would win her favour. She can easily wear it for her sangeet, reception, or cocktail; and use it as separates post her wedding.
7. How would you define your design aesthetics?
While the term ‘modern Indian clothing’ has become commonplace today, when the label was launched in 1999, it was to fill this very void that existed in the market back then.
Ever since the brand has been committed to creating contemporary Indian bridal and occasion wear loaded with a global appeal. While history and culture are always our starting points, the aim is to approach tradition with a renewed outlook to give our collections present-day relevance.
Hence each of our ensembles can easily transition to non-traditional occasions too. We were also one of the very first Indian brands to launch the unique concept of travelling trunk shows.
Our signature aesthetic is ”contemporary and minimalistic, with the silhouette always serving as the key focal point. Our emphasis has always been wearability, comfort, value for money, and maximum impact with minimum effort.”
8. What inspired your collection?
The collection goes back in history and traces the influence of Islam on the art, textiles and architecture in regions like Turkey, Morocco, Persia, Mughal India, Iran, and Afghanistan.
”This distinct Islamic aesthetic has been captured in the collection by way of intricate patterns, jaali work, filigree, and antique embroidery inspired from those countries and time periods.”
9. Tell us about the fabrics developed for this collection?
I have always been intrigued by cutwork and filigree and have often explored this interest in the peek-a-boo effect by way of embroideries, tulle skirts, and brocade strip lehengas. This season, we have gone a step ahead and created fabrics with filigree and pure jaali work. The entire process is incredibly time consuming and intricate. 30-40 artisans working for about 10 hours a day take close to 45-60 days to hand embroider one such lehenga.
These are created using time-honoured techniques that are passed down for generations in weaver families. Hence we collaborate with the local artisans in Lucknow and Banaras and work on fabrics they create to modernise it, giving rise to entirely new techniques and textiles in the process.
We have also created patterns that fuse the past with the present. For instance, traditional gota borders and vintage embroidery from Lucknow and Hyderabad have been juxtaposed with modern materials like leather for an unexpected look.
10. What about the wedding guest?
”Wedding guests shouldn’t shy away from mixing and matching outfits. Use your existing pieces and team them with new pieces in unique ways to curate fun Indo-western looks”
11. Urban Brides’ wardrobe staples?
The yesteryear concept of trousseau is outdated today. With trends changing so quickly, brides don’t want to be stuck with the same pieces for too long, hence are largely opting for 8-10 traditional pieces apart from the main bridal outfits.
I’ve noticed that these are generally outfits that they use for the smaller wedding functions like pujas and dinners, and also tide them over for the first year of marriage.
“One traditional and one concept sari, a range of suits, a high-waisted lehenga, and timeless heirloom pieces work well for the trousseau. For the wedding day, she should invest in the right lingerie and shoes.”
“Keep an emergency kit with a sewing set, double sided tape, safety pins, scissors etc. handy. I also advise brides to have a backup outfit, in the case of an unforeseen need! It need not be as heavy and ornate as the main outfits and can always be used later as well.”
12. Tell us about your association with the Vogue Wedding Show?
This is the second time we are participating in the show, and we are excited to be sharing the space with all the other key players in the bridal market.
We have mainly been an occasion wear brand since the inception, and have ventured into bridal wear in the last couple years and the Vogue Wedding Show is the perfect platform to showcase that.
It not only gives us a chance to show the new collection but also interact with clients and understand the mood of the bridal market at large.
13. Why do you look forward to this event?
The timing is opportune — it is right at the beginning of the bridal season; so it is a great way to kick start the festive season.